A Postcard From: Cara Navarro ’20

Name: Cara Navarro
Class Year: 2020
Major: Growth and Structure of Cities
Hometown: Manila, Philippines
Internship Placement: Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Job Title: Immigrant Leadership Outreach Specialist
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

I’m interning at the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, a nonprofit that helps immigrants integrate economically and socially into the Philadelphia area. Specifically, I am working with the Immigrant Leadership Institute (ILI): a five-month program that trains immigrants to become civic leaders within their communities. Participants learn about common barriers to integration that immigrants face, and then work in teams to plan events that address these barriers. Along the way, they learn skills that are useful in any context, such as leadership skills, relationship building, effective communication, and fundraising. The program also helps participants improve their English skills and become more familiar with American culture.

My responsibilities have been far more varied than my job title suggests. While I have worked on outreach-related tasks, such as redesigning the program brochure and online registration page, I also provide general support for Institute participants. In particular, I design a lot of event flyers and agendas. 

Why did you apply for this internship?

During my time at Bryn Mawr, I’ve become very interested in the dynamics of urban immigrant communities and their role within the city. I knew interning at the Welcoming Center would be a great way to learn more about this in relation to Philadelphia. I also admire the Immigrant Leadership Institute as a program — for one, it elevates immigrants’ voices, which often go unheard in decision-making processes. It’s also an innovative model for immigrant integration. When I learned about the program, I wanted to support it in any way that I could.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Definitely working with the Immigrant Leadership Institute participants! They are incredibly intelligent, creative, and friendly people, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them. The events they’ve organized as part of the program have also been a huge plus. In my Cities courses, I’ve read about the barriers that immigrants face, and hearing personal stories from the event organizers and guests has added a new dimension to my understanding of these issues. Moreover, I’ve met people who do important work for immigrants in Philadelphia.

Living in a new city? What has that experience been like for you?

I spend most weekends in Philly during the school year, but this is my first time living in the city on my own. I’ve definitely had my fair share of challenges; I’m still trying to strike the right balance between work, social life, general adult responsibilities, and sleep. But overall, I’m really enjoying the experience! I’ve explored different parts of the city, eaten an excessive amount of brunch food, and met some really cool people.

Cara Navarro

I’ve had to work late fairly often, but the program participants and the view from the conference room make it worth it.

A Postcard From: Jamila Ghazi ’20

Name: Jamila Ghazi
Class Year: 2020
Major: Economics and Political Science
Hometown: Rabat, Morocco
Job Title: Research assistant fellow
Location: Philadelphia

This summer, I had the opportunity to work with three faculty members on their respective book projects, each a part-time experience, amounting to a full-time job as a rising scholar. The projects I am working on are within my fields of interest as a double major in Economics and Political Science, and are each challenging and interesting in their own ways. Two of my advisors are Bryn Mawr professors, and the third is a Swarthmore faculty member. I had taken classes with each one of them and enjoyed their fields of expertise, and they were graceful in offering me the opportunity to work with them for the summer.

Whereas I work from the comfort of my home in the city, I am always working on new tasks, and my schedule never gets repetitive. The freedom and autonomy that these projects allow me in terms of how to approach the topics researched but also, how to interact with the materials, be it data or literature, has helped me a lot in my personal and intellectual growth  and for that I am forever grateful for this experience.

What I like most about my summer is the fact that the faculty members I am working with are highly invested in my growth and are providing me with so many tools and challenges to foster my learning. In the short run, my work definitely has informed my brainstorming for my thesis both in economics and political science, but it has furthermore strengthened my interest in pursuing a graduate degree after Bryn Mawr. I feel more empowered to do the work I really enjoy, and grow as a writer, thinker and speaker, thanks to the faculty’s support and the depth of the experiences I am able to avail myself of.

Other than research, living in Philadelphia has been great. This is my second summer spent doing research in the city, and I am absolutely in awe of this city’s beauty. My work requires a lot of reading and data construction, and I am always looking for excuses to have more coffee. My list of secret places to be productive and caffeinated has grown over the two years. Now, I am able to go two weeks without having to revisit the same coffee shop, and I consider that one of my biggest achievements.

As I walk around the city, I am always fortunate to see Bryn Mawr folks, current students and alumnae alike, and it is always a great pleasure to hear about their summer plans. I learnt a lot from the amazing things people are doing, and it is heartwarming to see everyone working towards the best versions of themselves, with so much integrity. My respect and appreciation for the epistemic circle that Bryn Mawr has introduced me to is indeed never-ending.

A Postcard From: Sorenie Gudissa ’20

Name: Sorenie Gudissa
Class Year: 2020
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Internship Placement: The Glenmede Trust Company
Job Title: Manager Research Intern
Location: Philadelphia

Sorenie Gudissa and other Glenmede interns at Escape the Room Philly

A team building activity for Glenmede interns at Philadelphia’s Escape The Room (We weren’t successful in escaping.)

What’s happening at your internship?

As a Manager Research Intern at Glenmede, I assist the department in the evaluation of external investment managers whose investment strategies the company utilizes to provide the best financial planning for its clients. The tasks of the department I directly work with (Manager Research Group /MRG) include monitoring, researching, and selecting managers based on their statistically measured long standing performance and qualitative analysis of the team making the investment decisions. Additionally, I work with the Manager Research Group to provide analysis on the different available securities that Glenmede could potentially invest in.

By being part of the internship program at Glenmede, I am also participating in the Glenmede Intern Challenge in which I work alongside six other fellow interns to formulate and present a plan that the company can implement to further differentiate itself as an investment management company in the industry. The plan is to be presented to the company’s management committee and board members at the end of the internship.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to Glenmede because I wanted an opportunity to gain experience in the corporate world and in the financial industry that I believed would be valuable in my professional life after Bryn Mawr. I knew Glenmede would help me decide whether a career in finance is the right path for me.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

The biggest challenge of working at Glenmede for me has been learning how to use the different software programs that Manager Research Group employs to keep track of and evaluate the financial markets and the performance of investment managers currently hired by the company. I also found making up for my nonfinance background by familiarizing myself with finance terms and concepts somewhat tasking. However, as I near the halfway point of my internship, I believe that I have learned and gained so much experience and understanding that has made my time at Glenmede worthwhile.




A Postcard From: Maryanne Kihiu ’19

Name: Maryanne Kihiu
Class Year: 2019
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Hometown: Kiambu, Kenya

Internship Placement: Penn Medicine
Job Title: College Student Research Assistant
Location: Philadelphia

Maryanne Kihiu

What’s happening at your internship? 

This summer, I am interning at Penn Medicine; specifically, I am working in a lab that investigates various methods of increasing the avidity of certain immunotherapies against ovarian cancer. The overall goal of my project is to identify and enrich for tumor reactive lymphocytes from populations of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, usually referred to as TILS. The TILS are harvested from tumors resected from patients suffering from ovarian cancer.  So far, I have mainly been working on cell cultures and exploring different kinds of chemical conditions that would give me the highest expansion of the desired population.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I took a Biology of Cancer class in my freshman year, which I found to be very eye-opening on what cancer really meant. This class mainly covered the biological aspect of cancer but I also wanted to know more about the treatment aspect. This internship provides me with that experience.

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

The amount of patience and care it takes to expand lymphocyte cultures in an aseptic environment. Before, I had only worked on bacterial cultures which are not very demanding. Also, you would think that since these are immune cells, they would not require so much attention. Ironically, they require so much care and in a very clean environment in order for them to grow to robust cells that can confer immunity to the body. Their life through development and function is inherently ironical.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Building, Insightful, Fun

Experience, Essence, Teamwork